Tuesday, 1 December 2009

1st December 2009

It was a rather cold day with some ice in places, but I had another very productive visit. During the early morning, had c. 66 Golden Plovers, 67 Lapwings, a Skylark, a Kestrel and a Grey Wagtail (over) at the Hungry Horse. Reaching the lakes, saw 2 Mute Swans from the causeway. At Engine Pool, saw a Kingfisher and, best of all but only for a couple of seconds, a Water Rail fly from one of the reed islands to the other - my first at this particular pool. At Terry's Pool, counted an amazing 12 Goosanders, a Raven (over), 3 Lesser Redpolls, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, a Fieldfare (perched), a Treecreeper and a Grey Wagtail. Along the track from Malthouse Lane to Windmill Pool, saw 10 Greenfinches; as well as 4 Stock Doves, a Green Woodpecker and a few Redwings in one of the adjacent horse pastures. Saw 3 Shovelers whilst at Windmill Pool's south side. I was rather pleased with my counts of 10 Song Thrushes and 8+ Bullfinches in the vicinity of the lakes, the former of which is definitely my best count for that species. Whilst at the canal feeder channel (near engine house) early afternoon met Tony Philp who said he'd seen 2 Kestrels at the Hungry Horse field yesterday. During our conversation, I think I told him that I'd been hoping to see Brambling at the lakes, and he said that in the local area he'd only see the species in his garden. Unbelievably, straight after he left I walked along the channel to the gate and up flew a small bird into a tree - looking through my bins I realised it was a female Brambling!!! My wish had come true, and best of all I'd never seen a female before so it was good experience! After flying to a couple of other trees, she flew off west over the engine house. Heading home, briefly saw that Golden Plovers and Lapwings were still at the Hungry Horse field, though apparently in smallers numbers than earlier. Also saw 4 female Common Pheasants together in the field along Norton Lane opposite Ambleside Garden Centre.
M.P. Griffiths

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